The 92nd Academy Awards

Áine O'Boyle

Every January, film lovers across the world wait in eager anticipation for the release of the Academy Awards nomination lists. This year the lists were released on Monday, January 13th, leaving millions across the world eager to watch the red carpet get rolled out for the prestigious awards ceremony which will take place on Sunday, February 9th. 

The glitz and glamour of the ceremony serves to increase tension as we eagerly wait to see if our favourite actors, directors and films win awards in the various categories. 

The College View has taken the liberty of outlining some of the most highly anticipated categories within the awards, looking at the various nominees hoping to bag a golden accolade for the mantel piece. 

For the highly contested category of actor in a leading role, the nominations are as follows:

Antonio Banderas for his performance in “Pain and Glory”

Banderas plays the protagonist in the Spanish film, outlining the decline of his career as a film director and involuntarily revisiting aspects of his life; from his childhood with his mother, his first adult love and breakup, to his early discovery of cinema. 

Leonardo Di Caprio as Rick Dalton in “Once upon a Time… in Hollywood”

Di Caprio’s portrayal of ageing actor Rick Dalton shows a man struggling to navigate his way around the changing television industry in 1960’s Hollywood alongside his longtime stunt double, Cliff Booth. 

Adam Driver as the male lead in “Marriage Story”

Driver is one half of a young married couple, in a film which explores the idea of marriage breakdown as the couple and their son attempt to navigate the tricky situation of bi-coastal separation and impending divorce. 

Joaquin Phoenix as the infamous “Joker”

Phoenix takes on the character of Joker in the broken society of Gotham. A failed career as a stand-up comedian and a traumatising past combine to incite the beginnings of the beloved villain, with fatal consequences. 

Jonathon Pryce in “The Two Popes”

Pryce plays the character of Pope Benedict as he engages in thoughtful reflection on the state of the Catholic church in 2012 alongside his sharpest critic, Cardinal Bergoglio. 

Predicted Winner- Joaquin Phoenix

An equally highly contested category is that of actress in a leading role with nominations including:

Cynthia Erivo in “Harriet”

Harriet documents the tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from a Maryland plantation and her transformation into one of America’s most well-known freedom fighters with her courage freeing hundreds of slaves and changing history. 

Scarlett Johansson as the female lead in “Marriage Story”

Alongside Adam Driver, Johansson plays one half of a young couple struggling to navigate the tricky waters of relationship breakdown, made even more difficult by their responsibilities as parents. 

Saoirse Ronan as Jo March in “Little Women”

Ronan plays the spirited Jo in the screenplay adaption of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, detailing her life alongside her sisters as well as the relationships and events that helped shape them as young women. 

Charlize Theron as the lead in “Bombshell”

Theron plays the lead in a group of women that take on the head of Fox News, Roger Ailes and the toxic atmosphere at play within the network. 

Renée Zellweger in the biopic “Judy”

Zellweger plays Judy Garland in a biopic of her life, detailing her five-week run of sold out shows in London, along with fights with management, friendships and nostalgia for the past. 

Predicted winner – Renée Zellweger 


The category of best director features some tough competition, with the nominations including: 

Martin Scorcese for “The Irishman” 

From “Taxi Driver” and “Goodfellas” onto “The Irishman”, Scorcese has an aquired taste for all things mob-related. The Irishman follows the career of Frank ‘The Irishman’ Sheeran in his later life as he reflects upon his mob career and his close, personal ties to the Buffalino family.

Todd Philips  for “Joker” 

Having previously descended into fame with movies such as “The Hangover”, Philips tried his hand at tackling the complex character of the joker in the tumultuous world of Gotham City.

Sam Mendes for “1917” 

Using the continuous one-shot method, Mendes draws the audience into the World War I, following two soldiers as they are sent to deliver an urgent message to an isolated regiment in a dangerous front across enemy territory.

Quentin Tarantino for “Once Upon a Time….in Hollywood”

Tarantino offers a view of a Hollywood that is in the midst of radical change, giving the audience an alternative ending to the Manson murders and following an industry that is hardly recognisable anymore.

Bong Joon Ho for “Parasite”  

The unemployed Ki-taek and his family take an interest in the lives of the wealthy and glamorous Park family, soon their lives get entangled and get involved in a very unexpected incident. Joon-Ho makes a case for the use of subtitles in films by saying “once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films”.

Predicted winner – Sam Mendes for “1917”

Áine O’Boyle

Image Credit: Isabella Finn